Peter Torre III of San Diego State University, California, and colleagues evaluated the hearing capacity of 262 men, of whom 117 were HIV positive, and 134 women, of whom 105 were infected with the disease, to determine if HIV and antiretroviral therapy are associated with hearing loss,a news agency reported.
The men had an average age of 57 years and the women were of an average age of nearly 48. The results, published in the US journal JAMA Otolaryngology-Head. Neck Surgery, were independent of long-term exposure to antiretroviral medications, HIV viral load, current count of CD4+ cells, the immune cells that HIV attacks and kills.
"To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate that HIV+ individuals have poorer hearing across the frequency range after many other factors known to affect hearing have been controlled for," the study concluded.